By Sam Lodato
Are you an alumnus looking back at college pictures missing the good old days at SHU?
With the recent shutdown of schools and businesses, Sacred Heart University is seeking to make alumni feel connected to campus through these difficult times.
Bill Reidy, Vice President University Advancement, has been organizing virtual events open to all alumni.
Alumni are notified about these events through email. Events for the upcoming week of April 20-29 include an arrangement of exercise and discussion forums meeting throughout the day.
“We are trying to focus these events on ways that help alumni get through this period of social isolation. That’s why we have had a weekly conversation about homeschooling, for example. There are others, like a Zumba class hosted by SHU grads. It is a way for people to get exercise even if they can’t leave their home,” said Reidy.
Some of these are things alumni wouldn’t normally look to SHU for assistance in. But, during these unprecedented times, “The SHU community is trying to do what we can to help one another,” said Reidy.
Daily routines are being affected differently with daily news announcements. These are affecting the entire SHU community both past and present.
“It is a difficult time for all of us. But, seeing how the Sacred Heart University community is reaching out to help alumni during these unprecedented times is very comforting for the senior class, knowing that we will always have a second family here at SHU,” said senior Leela Gallucci.
In the past, the university’s Alumni Engagement office hosted more than 100 alumni events in person per year. These virtual events are different because people can not physically gather, but high attendance numbers are still seen.
“The virtual alumni events have been so awesome. I’ve loved having the opportunity to connect with my classmates I haven’t seen since we were on campus. These events are a much-needed way to get my mind off of things during this stressful and uncertain time,” said Alyssa Varnum, Class of 2014.
When looking back on the last few weeks of these online events, “The faculty is pleased with the results. We are attracting thousands of people every week for the conversations and events we are hosting. It is especially exciting to have alumni joining us for these events – they bring great perspective and expertise that we hope is of value to our greater alumni community,” said Reidy.